Monday, May 21, 2007

It’s time for asymmetric warfare

In an article appearing in the May 21, 2007, issue of the Taipei Times, I take the discussion on Taiwan’s failed bid to become a full member of the World Health Organization (WHO) further and propose alternatives through which Taiwan could still tap into the global health resources and share its expertise with the rest of the world without having to rely on Geneva. Using a warfare analogy of a weak opponent facing a strong one, I argue that what Taipei must do is adopt guerrilla tactics, by attacking the stronger opponent — the UN-China nexus — where it is weaker by taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the 21st century in terms of connectivity and technology. In other words, what I propose for Taiwan is that it bypass the WHO altogether.

As I have proposed in my previous writings on the topic, by remaining fixed on sovereign states, the WHO is neglecting its duty to adapt to the changing realities of the world, a shortcoming that could prove disastrous at some point in the future. As a non-recognized state, Taiwan, with the help of non-state actors — NGOs, laboratories, donors, etc — could play a leading role in pushing the international community to join the 21st century on health and epidemiological matters by using non-state-fixed networks of communication.

Readers can access the full article by clicking here.

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